Thursday, May 5, 2011

My Opinion on Opinions

If you have the balls (or ovaries) to post an opinion up... then you should have the balls (or ovaries, again) to defend it.

Like most people, I have a diverse group of Facebook friends. My list includes real-life friends, relatives, former acquaintances and work contacts. This election, a good number of them have come out in favour of the opposition, and I always enjoy reading the statuses, articles or Facebook notes they post up.

Then there are the PAP supporters. Fair enough, I might not like their opinions, but they have the right to say what they want and vote for whoever they want. I read their postings too, and often think about why they might hold those positions on issues.

What really irks me is when someone posts an opinion and refuses to engage in debate on it. I mean, what the fuck is the point then? It's like a kid saying something to annoy others, and then covering his ears while he runs away so he can't hear their retorts. This behaviour wouldn't fly on the playground, let alone in an online space where colleagues and friends can see you do it.

The other thing that brings me dangerously close to cardiac arrest is people who don't have an opinion at all. Completely apathetic, they don't like hearing about the elections or politics, and they don't want to discuss anything beyond their immediate sphere of interests.

If they are old and uneducated, then fine. But the worst are the younger lot who don't bother to think about the impact the ruling party has on their lives. If you are truly apathetic, then you shouldn't be allowed to complain while you take it up the ass afterwards, like when you buy a flat or when you fall ill without adequate insurance coverage.

I know I sound more than a little aggrieved (and possibly unhinged, to some). But this is important.

One last note: In 2006, I was studying in Melbourne, and my constituency went uncontested. I wrote something very vague and precious about wanting 'change' to come (I think I compared it to spring-time). This year, I finally get to vote at the age of 27. I've grown up a lot since then. After five years as a working adult, I know now that change is not the weather, is not a statistical phenomenon, is not a butterfly or dove or Jesus returning for the righteous. All that change really is, is us.

That's all.